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Workers at Dunedin Railways step up fight to protect services and jobs

Workers at Dunedin Railways Limited are disappointed and angry that their Board and Senior Management are continuing to push a low quality plan putting the future of the Taieri Gorge Railway and other local services in jeopardy. 

Workers at Dunedin Railways Limited are disappointed and angry that their Board and Senior Management are continuing to push a low quality plan putting the future of the Taieri Gorge Railway and other local services in jeopardy. 

DRL management today Friday 8 May 2020 announced they would proceed with a “mothballing” plan that would effectively close the service with no guarantee of re-opening.

Rail and Maritime Transport Union Otago Branch Secretary Dave Kearns says the plan to mothball Dunedin Railways, including the iconic Taieri Gorge Railway, was unacceptable.

“The mothballing proposal is vague and meaningless, and the consultation process has been totally inadequate for a decision of this magnitude.”

A proposal with positive alternatives had been submitted to DRL and presented to Dunedin City Council, and workers had taken their concerns to local MPs.

Mr Kearns says after workers first found their jobs were in jeopardy through the media, their faith in the process had been shattered.

He says there is an agenda at the Board level to run down and close the business, which had been their first preference.

However, workers are determined to fight for the jobs and keep Dunedin Railways rolling, he says, with strong community backing emerging around the Keep Dunedin Rail Rolling campaign.

A Facebook page Keep Dunedin Rail Rolling had gained 1600 likes and a petition to stop the mothballing plan had gained over 1500 signatures in the last several days.

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